If you are one of the millions making their New Year's resolution to finally get healthy and lose a little weight, don't make the mistake of trying to lose as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time by following a fad diet. Some diets can "kick start" weight loss, but keeping weight off requires the commitment to maintain healthy lifestyle habits for the long haul. Instead of making temporary diet changes, work on making healthy changes that will last a lifetime. Don't change more than what you can live with or you won't stick with it. It takes 3-4 weeks to make something a habit so make small achievable goals and move on as each one becomes a habit in your new healthy lifestyle.
- Get physical every day. Participate in physical activities you enjoy and change activities when you are bored with your current routine. Pick up some weights; increasing muscle mass will help boost your metabolism. Aim for walking 10,000 steps a day. Many free fitness apps are available to keep you motivated and on track.
- Cut out empty calories. Limit excessive intake of "junk" foods. Even fat free cookies and crackers can contribute to weight gain. Keep a food diary for a week or two and see where you are consuming extra calories.
- Curb liquid calories. Avoid sodas, fruity drinks, juices, cappuccinos, and fitness waters with calories. Cutting out one 200 calorie drink/day will lead to a 20 lb weight loss in one year! Eat your fruit rather than drink it.
- Eat at least 1200 calories a day. Cutting back on calories too much can make your body hold on to fat, lose muscle, and slow your metabolism.